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Secrest Artists season opens with renowned trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, N.C. debut of NOJO

August 25, 2008

Wake Forest University’s Secrest Artists Series will open its 2008-2009 season at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in Wait Chapel with a concert by Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO).  The concert will be the NOJO’s first performance in North Carolina. 

Mayfield is a protégé of Wynton Marsalis and a Grammy-nominated and Billboard Award-winning trumpeter and composer.  He formed the nonprofit NOJO to celebrate and preserve the deep cultural heritage of jazz.  The orchestra performs and presents educational programs that draw upon the rich musical and cultural traditions of New Orleans and is the only major performing jazz institution based in post-Katrina New Orleans that presents such programs.

The NOJO has performed at prestigious venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Mondavi Center in Sacramento and the San Francisco Jazz Festival. 

Several other events will also be held in conjunction with the concert. 

At 3 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Matt Kendrick, a composer, double bassist and member of the Wake Forest music faculty, will present “Creators of Jazz,” a free concert/lecture featuring music by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

At 10 a.m. Sept. 25, Mayfield and the NOJO will perform for students at Reynolds High School for the school’s first campus-wide initiative for the arts-magnet program this year.  Members of the orchestra will also hold a master class with the school’s jazz band, visit with students during lunch and conduct interdisciplinary discussions in various classes.  The performance and classes are not open to the public.

At 6:40 p.m. Sept. 25, Jacqui Carrasco, associate professor of music at Wake Forest, will present a Secrest Signature pre-performance talk in the Balcony Room of Wait Chapel.

During the concert, the audience will also have an opportunity to support the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL) Rebuild Campaign, which is raising money to rebuild eight library branches and repair five others that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The project also includes building a new “jazz” branch that will honor the history and contributions of jazz music and feature performance spaces and practice rooms. 

Mayfield is chairman of the NOPL board of directors, vice president of the NOPL Foundation and the officially appointed cultural ambassador for the city of New Orleans. 

Tickets for the concert will be available from the Wake Forest Theatre Box Office at (336) 758-5295 after Labor Day.  General admission is $20; $17 for senior citizens and non-Wake Forest students; and $5 for children under 12.  Group discounts and season tickets are also available.  Season tickets are $100; $90 for senior citizens; and $85 for Wake Forest alumni. Tickets are free to Wake Forest students, faculty and staff.

Upcoming concerts also scheduled for the 2008-2009 Secrest season include:

  • Warsaw Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Poland, with
    Valentina Lisitsa, piano soloist; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11; Wait Chapel.
  • Alison Balsom & Ensemble; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19; Brendle Recital Hall. 
  • Meredith Monk; 7:30 p.m. March 19; Brendle Recital Hall. 
  • Takacs String Quartet with pianist Marc André Hamelin; 7:30 p.m. April 16; Brendle Recital Hall. 

For information, visit or call the Secrest Artists Series office at (336) 758-5757. 

MEDIA NOTE:  Irvin Mayfield is available for advance phone interviews.  Morning show or television interviews may also be arranged. 

Press Contacts:

Pam Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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